Ebola virus disease (EVD)

ebola virus klm health services

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by an infection with Ebola virus and is a serious disease that causes severe, often fatal, conditions in human beings and primates (including gorillas and chimpanzees).

How do you catch it?

The risk of infection applies particularly in the remote regions where the virus is prevalent. The Ebola virus is transmitted through direct physical contact with an infected person (also when deceased) and through body fluids of infected humans and animals (blood, faeces, urine, vomit, sperm, sweat). There is no proof of spreading through sneezing or coughing. People often get infected at the funeral of a relative. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola. Prior to the onset of symptoms, there is no risk of contamination.

What are the symptoms?

Ebola virus disease usually begins with complaints such as headaches, muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue and accompanied by vomiting, diarrhoea, liver damage and kidney damage. In some cases, unexplained internal and external bleedings arise. Between 50% and 90% of those infected do not survive EVD. 

How to prevent yourself from infection with Ebola?

Travellers are not likely to get infected. However, we strongly advise travellers – besides general hygiene matters – to also observe additional measures.

  • Avoid contact with blood or other bodily fluids (such as saliva and urine) of infected persons
  • Avoid unprotected sexual contact
  • Avoid contact with wild animals
  • Do not eat ‘bush meat’, meat from animals that may be infected (e.g. monkey or antelope)